False Spider Mite – Tenuipalpidae family

False Spider Mite: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life

Latin name: Tenuipalpidae family

Appearances: The Tenuipalpidae family of mites, sometimes known as flat mites or false spider mites, is linked to the Tetranychidae. They move slowly and are reddish. 228 microns long make up the female. Adult specimens are rufous amber, whereas juvenile ones are reddish. The body is ovate-sagittate in shape, with the breadth being roughly 2/3 the length. The body’s dorsal cuticular surface is noticeably reticulated. The areolae on the mandibular plate’s cephalothorax laterad are roughly one-third longer than they are wide. Three pairs of rather weak setae are present on the cephalothorax’s dorsal surface: one pair at the front boundary between coxae 1, one pair immediately in front of the eyes, and one pair immediately behind the eyes.

Host plants: According to Baker and Pritchard (1958), this mite species had over 65 hosts. However, according to scientists with the US Department of Agriculture, there could be up to 1,000 hosts. Aphelandra, gardenia, grapefruit, hibiscus, holly, ligustrum, lemon, lime, orange, pecan, and viburnum are a few notable hosts from Florida.

Territory: Tenuipalpidae family mites are present on many cultivated plants and have a global distribution. Numerous species have been identified, particularly by decorative greenhouse plant farmers.

Damage insect caused: The plant becomes weakened and the mesophyll collapses as this mite feeds. The leaves have damage on both sides. Browning of the affected area is a sign of older injury. Some hosts also have leaves that are malformed. In the spring, summer, and fall, symptoms are more noticeable. The Citrus leprosis virus is spread by Nbrevipalpus Phoenicia. If the mite vectors that carry the disease are not managed, citrus leprosy reduces yield and eventually kills the infected trees.

Life cycle and habits: The majority of false spider mites are yellow to brick red in color. They are typically smaller but have the same body shape as spider mites. All of the species appear to be identical. The same developmental phases that spider mites go through include egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult for false spider mites. They generally reside along the veins on the underside of leaves and travel slowly. When viewed from above, the mites are flattened and egg-shaped, with a net-like pattern on their dorsal surface. The elliptical-shaped eggs are a bright crimson color. They are placed along the mid-vein or in a fold in the leaf.